…the party’s over.
Serena Williams’s search for the ultimate prize of the Calendar Grand Slam in 2015 ended Friday afternoon with high drama in the third set of her US Open semi-final match against Roberta Vinci on the courts of Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. Roberta Who??
Exactly. Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy, was a very long shot to win. The odds makers had her at 200:1 or thereabouts – depending on your bookie. Now that’s an underdog.Think David and Goliath, the first recorded upset in a match that was crucial to a lot of folks in days of yore. In the biblical account David the little shepherd boy goes up against the great Philistine warrior giant Goliath and manages to take him down with a single stone from a slingshot. Score David 1, Goliath 0.
In her press conference following the loss, Serena looked like a giant who had been slain by a barrage of unbelievable shots from an opponent comparable in rank to the little shepherd boy. Surely Goliath must have had a similar shocked expression on his face as he tried to figure out what hit him before he fell to the ground.
The tennis world reeled from the results of both semi-finals in which the top two players lost, and the widely anticipated match-up between Serena and Simona in the final was not to be. The media scrambled to find a new story line, and the ticket-holders for the final were disappointed in the lost opportunity to watch an American sports icon make history in her country’s most prestigious tournament.
The Serena Saga came to an unceremonious end with much doom and gloom in the atmosphere at the Arthur Ashe arena, but as the poet Kahlil Gibran wrote: The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on.
Tom Rinaldi’s interview with Roberta Vinci after her match with Serena introduced an Italian tennis player with a great smile and sense of humor to go along with her slingshot. She was the beginning of a new story that captivated tennis fans and gave the world an unprecedented opportunity to witness a magical moment in sports in an American tennis final that belonged to Italy.
It’s why they play the game.
To be continued.